Daphne and Apollo, circa 1875
Charcoal enhanced with ink and gouache on laid-down paper
6.75 inches by 10.75 inches (sight)

Frame: circa 1900

I have not been able to find a finished painting of this subject by Burne-Jones, so I am only guessing that it is Daphne pursued by Apollo just moments before her father changed her into a laurel tree. However indistinct the signature, the technique is clearly that of Pre-Raphaelite Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Many of the artist’s drawing are signed with his initials

American Jane Byrd McCall and Englishman Ralph Radcliffe-Whitehead met Burne-Jones in England before they were married in 1892. The couple purchased several works directly from the artist as well as a William Morris/ Burne-Jones tapestry that once hung in the library of the Arts and Crafts colony they founded called Byrdcliffe. The tapestry and all the other Burne-Jones art the Whiteheads owned are now lost except for this drawing, which remained in their family until 1976 when their son Peter died.


Interior of the library at Byrdcliffe showing Burne-Jones-designed tapestry, circa 1907


Signed lower left with indistinct “E. B. J.” and date under the ink


Examples of Burne-Jones initials from other drawings